Development and stem cells
From cell plasticity to regenerative medicine
Research in this department is seeking two goals.
Firstly, some of us are studying the mechanisms that control the potential of stem cells - cells that can generate multiple cell types during organ formation - or the reprogramming of specialised cells into a different cell type. We are dissecting the epigenetic and genetic events that, within the nucleus, regulate cell plasticity to impart either the potential to differentiate into a given cell type or to adopt a different cell fate. In particular, we aim to understand how stem cells are set aside, maintained and how they lose their plasticity during differentiation.
Secondly, we are interested in the mechanisms conferring to organs the appropriate shape in order to fulfill their ultimate function. We address this by dissecting in parallel the physical principles and the cellular events that regulate cell plasticity at the morphological level over time. To accomplish this goal we combine genetic, state-of-the-art imaging and biophysical approaches.
Altogether, by using different model systems and complementary approaches, we aim to reveal the cellular and molecular defects accounting for cancer progression, muscle diseases, neuronal diseases, diabetes and infertility. Through a better understanding of how stem cell potential and cell reprogramming are modulated in vivo, and how cells shape organs in various organisms, our wish is to develop new concepts and practical tools useful for regenerative medicine.
- Integrated structural Biology
- Functional genomics and cancer
- Translational medicine and neurogenetics